After doing large swaths of work, our natural inclination is to take it easy. That’s fine if it’s just some casual work, but if it’s a large project like moving and learning decluttering simultaneously, there’s always more to do. The trick is pacing yourself physically and mentally so you can accomplish more each day, so rather than completely slow down, it’s good to idly distract ourselves. For my wildly disorganized collection, that means ballpark alphabetizing.
The bottom four rows of this shelving unit are nearly cleared out.
I’m moving everything up that I can because I have a bit of a height bias. If I had my ideal space, everything would be at around eye level, and of course, alphabetized. There was a period about a year ago for a month or so where I guess I just didn’t catalog anything? Through this rough sorting session, where I referred to the list of CDs I own that I haven’t put into storage yet, I kept running into CDs I hadn’t cataloged. Fortunately, this was just a casual pass to see where I was at with everything and where I still had left to go.
Everything after N is a complete mess still.
I’m writing this essay on a laptop that sits with my CD shelving unit to my right and I keep looking over, compulsively eying the CDs, thinking about how I can compact them even further, and I have plenty of plans – of course – but part of it, too, is a clause I introduced where I want to listen to as much as I can of these CDs before I put them away. That’s mainly to mend the gluttony of my CD collecting past. For example, this is the first time I’m listening to Goo by Sonic Youth, which is a surprise, and a disappointment: it’s so good.
It’s also to pace myself.
When I get into these compulsive mindsets of obsessing over alphabetical arrangements too much, it can become a little unhealthy and one-sided. I still have plenty to do in this moving process with plenty to learn in this decluttering process. The more time I spend looking over at the CD rack, idly thinking of how I can better arrange the rough draft of an alphabetical sort – with enough space for accidental omissions, the less time I can spend on actually moving stuff around. After all, I can listen to music while packing boxes.
I would be packing boxes but I’m too tired now.
What I probably should be doing instead of brainstorming ways to pack up my CDs sooner is to figure out what steps I’ll need to do next to pack up the rest of my stuff sooner. That’s where it’s interesting and kind of fun to compare different disciplines like this because when I’ve cleared out a box or an area, I don’t immediately refill either. I let that empty space linger in my mind.
Getting comfortable with not filling space is an art.
|Sources: My moving experiences.|
|Inspirations: I had time to kill and didn’t want to sit on the couch and recline because I have one last thing I need to do before going to sleep, so instead, my curiosity drew me to my CD collection where I initially started idly alphabetizing, then more rigorously.|
|Related: Other Moving Zeal essays.
— CD essays:
1. Albums: Move, Sell?
2. Luxury of Ownership
3. “Close Enough” Lumpings
4. Last Heard: Pre-Cataloging
5. Album Sorting Algorithms
6. Slow to Unearth
7. Declutter Then Alphabetize
|Photo: Current state of my CD rack as of this writing.|
|Written On: December 15th [20 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft.|